Debt Collectors

There are few of us who have not for some reason needed to borrow money. Even when managing finances well, you more than likely have experienced the need to take out a mortgage for a home. Have you been in the unfortunate circumstance when  you have no ability to pay it back? If this has been your experience you know the day and night torture that can result. If not I ask you to use your imagination and follow along with this story.

Matthew 18: 23 The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. 26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars  He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

Luke 7:40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” 41 “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” 44 Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. 47 For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

So the man in the first story was forgiven much yet he demanded a debt be paid to him from someone who owed him much less. How is it that the principle of the second story did not hold true? Should not he who was forgiven much love much? Was he not truly aware of how much compassion he had been shown? Was he not experiencing and valuing the freedom from his debt? Did he not realize that had the debt not been forgiven he would have slaved his entire life to pay it off (sound familiar?)

I had a dream last night that there was a board meeting where there was a discussion being held about outstanding accounts. It was being decided who among them should be sent to collect. The exacting accountant who had never had the need to be shown mercy? Should they send the one who had always been able to pay her bills on time and had no compassion on those who did not? Was it necessary to send a person with a withering look and a pursed bitter mouth?

abitterdebtPerhaps in the natural that is who would be the best choice. Someone with a hard skin who would not be moved by compassion or empathy. Someone who would not settle for any less than servitude from a debtor. But God shows us a different kind of love.

Isaiah 6: In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me.

In verse 5 when Isaiah caught a glimpse of God. It was then that he became acutely aware of his own need for forgiveness (how large his debt). God’s response was mercy and forgiveness.

What does this this scripture tell us about the kind of person God wants to be His representative?

The one whom is very aware of how much he has been forgiven.

 

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